Authorities in Montenegro suspect ex-CIA agent Joseph Assad was involved in a conspiracy to bring down the government of Montenegro in a coup and assassinate the prime minister.
When the former CIA agent was detained recently, Montenegrin officials thought the answer to their questions might be within reach: How did an ex-CIA agent get involved in an attempt to topple Montenegro’s government?
On the eve of a parliamentary vote in 2016, the Montenegrin police broke up what they claimed was a Russian-backed coup. One allegation against Assad is that he prepared exfiltration plans for the coup plotters. Later, prosecutors in Montenegro called for the arrest of Joseph Assad, accusing him of involvement in the coup attempt.
The former CIA agent insisted it was all a huge mistake. He denied knowledge of any coup and said he was only advising a friend, saying he had been in Montenegro to provide personal security advice to a western political consultant and prepared contingency plans for his client in case of an emergency. Joseph Assad called on the US to reject any extradition request.
Montenegro’s prosecutors are investigating whether Assad was hired to help the 14 suspects on an escape plan. He was named during testimony by another former CIA agent at the trial.
Assad has reportedly refused to testify and denied any wrongdoing.